Enormous skates to fill
We checked in on the team scoring chance totals and saw little improvement. But that wouldn't be the case with the wealth of individual talent, would it?
Thanks to the efforts of Dennis King at MC79hockey, who logged chances for a third season. He deserves some kind of medal for this. For reference, check the results from 2010-11 and those from 2009-10.
TCF = season total even strength chances for; TCA = season total even strength chances against; C% = scoring chance percentage; CF/15 = chances for per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice; CF/15 = chances against per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice; SCDIFF = total scoring chance differential; DIFF/15 = scoring chance differential per 15 minutes of even strength time on ice;
*Tables are sortable by column, simply click on the header row in each table.
Tom Renney did his very best to give the Hall-Hopkins-Eberle trio great starting positions and easier minutes. It paid off as the three led the team in chances for. But for those fans screaming for more ice time for the trio - check out those chances against numbers. Hall and Eberle were the worst on the team at preventing scoring chances - and Hopkins isn't far behind. Remember, the three were the worst on the team at preventing scoring chances with some of the most favorable zonestarts in the league (Hopkins had the 16th-easiest zonestarts in the NHL, Eberle 20th). Eberle and Hall's percentages stagnated even though the assignments got much, much easier.
These numbers only underscore the importance of real NHL players like Ryan Smyth (perhaps going the cheapskate route with him isn't advisable) and Shawn Horcoff taking care of the difficult jobs night-in and night-out.
Speaking of Horcoff, his numbers look poor, but considering his assignment, he was nearly playing at par. One matter of note: even with the favorable zonestarts, Hall generated fewer chances per 15 compared to last year's performance with Shawn Horcoff at centre.
Even though Magnus Paajarvi has taken the role as the second-class citizen, breaking even with little or no support is an encouraging sign.
Well dress me poorly and call me Don Cherry. The Oilers traded away their only defenseman who won the chances battle and he did so against the toughs. Jeff Petry is going to have to take a step forward to match Gilbert's performance and someone is going to have to step up in order to match Petry's performance against second-line competition.
Somehow Theo Peckham posted worse year-over-year numbers. I thought his .436 from 2010-11 would be the bottom as he started a (possibly very small) upward trajectory. I was wrong.